Committee discusses mobile home park, food trucks

Published 4:25 pm Friday, July 26, 2019

The Middlesboro Community Development Committee held a meeting Wednesday to discuss several items of concern.

Important topics are the continued discussion of junk/abandoned cars, the business incentive package and tax moratorium, ordinance on property tax collection, and zoning that surrounds mobile homes/modular homes.

Committee chair Bo Green turned the discussion over to Jessie Moberg.

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“There were some comments about a potential mobile home park going in near Fords Woods Park, and I think you said that area wasn’t zoned for that,” she said.

Green turned the discussion over to Code Enforcement Officer Tim Kelley to explain the zoning ordinance in that area.

“First off, a mobile home park or a new mobile home park has to start with five acres,” Kelley said. “So, that’s definitely not going to happen because there’s not five acres up there.”

Kelley explained there are approximately 16 pages concerning the regulations around a mobile home park.

“We talked about it the other day about mobile home park regulations probably more in the zoning code than what there is in any other section,” he said. “The mobile home park, there’s so many restrictions on that that we’ll probably never see another mobile home park permitted.”

“I guess I haven’t looked at it but what is the definition of a mobile home park,” Moberg asked. “Is it a certain number of mobile homes in one area?”

“I just remember that one of the first sentences that they make in that for permitting a mobile park is that it has to be five acres and the lots have to be 40×100,” Kelley continued to explain. “Depending on the make of the property, some of the lots may have to be bigger than that because it might be up a hill, down a hill. I mean, you are talking about 4,000 square feet for each lot. You can potentially end up with five acres.”

Green and Kelley then discussed the definition of a mobile home. Kelley explained that his interpretation is technically describing a single wide. There are three wind within the definition that doesn’t meet the original Kentucky building code.

“It says it must be at least 24 feet wide and 40 feet long,” he explained. “I think for some of these other ones, if it’s less than 8 feet longer than 24 feet or 30 feet, if it’s even considered a single wide.”

Kelley then mentioned “tiny homes”.

“I know everyone has seen them on HGTV,” he said. “These ‘tiny homes,’ and we have absolutely nothing in our ordinance to cover tiny homes. In my opinion, in R1, they wouldn’t be allowed anyway because you have to have a 10,000 square foot lot and a 900 square foot structure, and no tiny home is going to be 900 square feet.”

Councilman Green said that they do plan on continuing the discussion on the ordinances regarding the homes and the size of them as well as the property size.

The committee plans to discuss a golf cart ordinance and the continued discussion on tiny homes in city limits.

Before the closing of the meeting, the group quickly discussed mobile food vendors.

“Two vendors said they don’t feel like they will be able to come back because someone at city hall told them they need several difference licenses,” Brian O’Brien with WRIL said. “A business license, a peddler’s license and occupational tax.”

The question comes down to what is required of someone who has a food truck on a one-day basis.

“I understand there’s a two-day situation but on a one day basis, what do they need to do in order to set up,” O’Brien asked.

“My understanding and the intent was that if you bought a food vendor license, according to this, you were covered for the whole year,” Green explained to O’Brien. “Now, if you’re not getting your food vendor license, I would think you would have to get a peddlers license.”

Kelley explained that a vendor’s license allows a one-day trip.

“If someone comes in and if they’re just going to be here for one day, they can buy a license for $5 or $10 and never show up again,” Kelley said. “If they anticipate coming back, we also have the $50 for a year-long vendor’s license but that’s all considered the business license.”

The next special-called meeting for the Middlesboro City Council will be Tuesday at 6 p.m. in Council Chambers of Middlesboro City Hall.